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Characterizing long-time scale hydrological effects on gravity for improved distinction of tectonic signals

By M. Van Camp, L. Metivier, O. de Viron, B. Meurers and S. D. P. Williams


The influence of the hydrological noise on repeated gravity measurements has been investigated on the basis of the time series of 18 superconducting gravimeters (SGs) and on predictions inferred from the Land Dynamics (LaD) world-Gascoyne land water-energy balances model. Presently, the global hydrologic models are not precise enough to fulfill the geodetic requirements and are not efficient enough to separate the hydrology from tectonic motion in the land-based gravity time series. However, although the LaD model predictions and the gravity observations present significant differences in the time domain, it is shown that they have similar amplitudes in the frequency domain in most of the cases. The time series of the Global Geodynamics Project make it possible to investigate phenomena of a few years in the best case. Given the similarity between the power spectral densities (PSDs) of the LaD model predictions and the SG measurements when taken at the same epoch, it makes sense to use the LaD model to study the spectral behavior of the hydrological effects down to the decadal time scale, which is not yet possible with land-based measurements. It is shown that the PSDs of the hydrological effects flattens at low frequency and is characterized by a generalized Gauss-Markov structure. With such a noise level, the time necessary to measure a gravity rate of change of 1 nm/s(2)/a, at the 1 sigma level should not extend any longer than 17 years at the locations where the hydrological effects play a major rol

Topics: Marine Sciences, Earth Sciences
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2009jb006615
OAI identifier:

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